The Manchester College named their Wythenshawe site Howard House in an official VIP naming ceremony earlier today (23 March), in honour of former student and prolific fundraiser Kirsty Howard.
Kirsty’s family were VIP guests at the ceremony and unveiled the plaque announcing the new name of the recently-refurbished site to guests from the community, staff and local MP Mike Kane.
At the ceremony, Francis House Children’s Hospice was named the Group’s charity partner of the year in honour of Kirsty and was presented with a cheque for £5,000 to kick-start their fundraising efforts.
Phil Taylor, Director of the Kirsty Club and speaking on behalf of Francis House, said: “Thank you to the LTE Group for its very generous donation which will have a huge impact on the charity. Naming the building Howard House and fund-raising for Kirsty’s charity of choice is a wonderful tribute to her memory.”
The LTE Group has recently invested over £1.5m in upgrading the facilities at Howard House, which first opened in 2010, to house over 160 staff from the Finance, Health and Safety, HR, IT Services and Marketing and External Relations teams. The move has helped to consolidate group operations teams and promote closer collaborative working.
Wythenshawe and Sale East MP Mike Kane attended and spoke with the family, staff and students. The Labour Shadow Schools Minister said: “I’m delighted to have been invited here today. LTE Group’s investment in Howard House, and the surrounding site occupied by The Manchester College, represents a significant investment in Wythenshawe.
Today has also been an opportunity to remember and celebrate the life of Kirsty Howard. Speaking to Kirsty’s mum and dad I know they are very proud of their daughter’s achievements, not only as an unbelievable charity fundraiser but as a student at The Manchester College. Naming this building ‘Howard House’ will serve as a fitting and long-lasting tribute to Kirsty.”
The investment forms a key part of the Group’s estates strategy and its vision to transform the way it delivers leading post-16 education, training and skills.
John Thornhill, Chief Executive of the LTE Group said: “The Manchester College is incredibly proud to have supported Kirsty in her studies and we’re honoured to name the building Howard House, to reflect her connection to us and the local area.
“We will also be using the occasion – and other events throughout the year – to raise money for Francis House in her memory, including entering a team of LTE group runners in this year’s 10k Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May.
“Kirsty was, and continues to be, an inspiration to many in Manchester and she remains a fantastic example of the values which we encourage in our colleagues, students and learners.”
More than a third of children in Wythenshawe are living in poverty according to a report published by a leading charity this week.
Figures revealed by the End Child Poverty coalition shows that in the five local authority wards in Wythenshawe around 34 per cent of youngsters are in poverty after housing costs are taken into account.
The campaign blames the shockingly high levels of poverty in the most deprived areas of the country on benefits policy and price rises and is calling on the public to lobby MPs to urge the government to lift the freeze on benefits for children – currently in place until the end of the decade – so that families no longer see living standards squeezed as prices rise.
In Wythenshawe, 6.728 children are in poverty – defined as in families living on less than the median household income – with the highest concentration, 36 per cent in Woodhouse Park where 1,333 youngsters are below the breadline. The largest number of children in poverty in the town is in Sharston, 1,604, representing 35 per cent.
Wythenshawe’s MP, Mike Kane has called on the Government to take immediate action to tackle poverty. He told the Reporter: “Statistics published by the End Child Poverty Coalition this week on the levels of children living in poverty are a scandal.
“They are the result of this Conservative Government’s flawed policy of cuts and changes to the welfare system. My advice surgery is regularly attended by families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is a disgrace that in 2018 we have a growing need for food bank provision in Wythenshawe.
“As Wythenshawe’s MP I have called for a pause and rethink from the Government on the roll out of Universal Credit which is causing unnecessary suffering and hardship. It is becoming increasing clear that progress on tackling poverty has begun to unravel with falling state support and increasing in-work poverty. I believe this is completely unacceptable and the Government needs to act now.”
The research was carried out on behalf of End Child Poverty by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, led by Professor Donald Hirsch, and paints an even bleaker picture for other parts of Greater Manchester, with 62% of children in Coldhurst ward in Oldham living in poverty.
In Manchester’s Gorton and Central constituencies nearly half of the children there, 48 per cent, are below the poverty, with the figures for Rusholme and Moss Side both at 56 per cent. In Withington there are 34 per cent of children in poverty with the highest concentration in the Old Moat ward.
Since the introduction of the benefit freeze, the coalition of charities, faith groups and unions has warned that as prices rise, low income families would find it increasingly hard to pay for the same basic essentials.
‘It is scandalous that a child born in some parts of the UK now has a greater chance of growing up in poverty, than being in a family above the breadline’, said Sam Royston, Chair of End Child Poverty and Director of Policy and Research at the Children’s Society. ‘There can be little doubt that the Government’s policy of maintaining the benefits freeze despite rising prices is a major contributor to the emerging child poverty crisis.’
The coalition is also concerned that the impact of poverty may be exacerbated by a poverty premium – which means that low income families can face paying as much as £1700 per year more than better off families, to buy the same essential goods and services. A major contributor to this is the high cost of credit for low income families, and the coalition wants to see the Government address this by providing better access to interest free credit.
Sam Royston said ‘No family in modern Britain should be struggling to put food on the table, heat their homes and clothe their children. End Child Poverty is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children’s benefits, and to invest in interest free credit for low income families, to ensure that poverty doesn’t result in spiralling debt.’
A Government spokesman said: “The best route out of poverty is through employment, and since 2010 an extra three million more people are now in work and 600,000 fewer children are living in workless households.
“But we recognise that budgets are tight, and that’s why we’re helping families keep more of what they earn. We’ve doubled free childcare – worth £5,000 per child each year – while our £2.5 billion pupil premium programme is supporting two million disadvantaged schoolchildren across the country.”
Bosses in charge of the the £800 million Airport City project in Wythenshawe have said the scheme will not be affected by the collapse of one of its partners – construction giant Carillion.
Carillion, which employs 20,000 people and is understood to have public private partnership contracts worth £1.7 billion across the country, went into liquidation with debts of more than £900 million.
The troubled firm is one of five partners in a joint venture to deliver the enterprise zone aimed at stimulating the Greater Manchester economy by creating on-site logistics, manufacturing, office and leisure facilities. The other partners are Manchester Airport Group, Beijing Construction Engineering Group, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund. Read More…
A mystery shopping company has invested thousands in its new head office base in Wythenshawe.
Storecheckers, which has been in business for over 25 years, has expanded its operation, signing a five-year lease for its new head office in the town and employing extra staff.
The customer service improvement and market research experts will share their new office building with Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane, who cut the ribbon at the official opening of their new base.
Mr Kane said: “I am delighted that Storecheckers have opened their new offices in Wythenshawe and are employing local people in their expansion programme.
“Wythenshawe is a great place to do business and I wish Storecheckers continued success.”
Storecheckers has an expanding team of full time head office staff supporting over 1000 researchers nationwide, many of whom are from the Greater Manchester area. Managing Director and customer service guru, Jeff Caplan, said: “It was a privilege to see our local MP formally open our new offices. He was an absolute gentleman and clearly cares a great deal about the town.
“We are really happy to have made the decision to stay in Wythenshawe and to have moved into our newly fitted out head office, which gives us more room to expand. The town is well-located and has excellent road and tram links, as well as great people and a willing workforce.
“It is a tough time for businesses with bricks and mortar which simply cannot afford to be turning away potential customers and tempting them to shop online through poor service. But this means that there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to invest in their customer experience and drive increased trade and consumer loyalty.
“This coupled with the fact that we have had long-standing relationships with northwest locations and businesses such as Timpson and Pets at Home, mean that investing in a bigger base in Wythenshawe and looking to expand our business makes perfect sense”.
Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane has signed a joint letter to parliament’s intelligence and security watchdog expressing grave concern about the leaking by US officials of the identity of the Manchester Arena bomber while police were still investigating the atrocity.
Salman Abedi, detonated the bomb, at the Ariana Grande concert, which killed 22 people in May. It was the deadliest attack in Britain since the 7/7 bombings in London.
The New York Times, named the suspected killer as Salman Abedi, and shared pictures of the crime scene hours before Manchester police revealed Abedi’s identity, after the details were leaked by US officials. Non-U.S. media followed, again citing U.S. sources.
It was feared at the time the leaks had compromised the fast-moving investigation by Greater Manchester Police.
Mr Kane signed the letter, along with other Greater Manchester MPs, the Leader of Manchester City Council, Richard Leese and Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham to the chairman of the parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.
And this week the Wythenshawe MP raised the issue with Home Secretary, Amber Rudd during a debate following the release of a report into terror attacks.
Mr Kane said: “Every Greater Manchester MP, Mayor Andy Burnham and Richard Leese, the leader of the city council, have signed a joint letter to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee expressing our concern that Salman Abedi’s name was shared with our colleagues in America and subsequently leaked, placing Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and the investigation in an intolerable situation. Does the Home Secretary share our deep concern about that?”
The Home Secretary replied: “Many of us—not least my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister—raised that issue with our opposite numbers, and such leaks are completely unwelcome and inappropriate.
“However, we must not underestimate our incredibly important close relationship with the US on intelligence sharing and support, and we must be cautious of any eventuality that might endanger that relationship. That sort of close intelligence sharing saves lives in this country.”
Shortly after the leak in May Mrs Rudd told the BBC police had been very clear that they wanted to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise and said the leak was “irritating”.
MP Mike Kane has assured residents living in tower blocks in Wythenshawe that none are fitted with the controversial cladding linked to Grenfell Tower tragedy in London last week.
The rapid spread of the fire in which at least 79 people are dead or missing presumed dead, is still being investigated but has been attributed to the use of a type of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding which is banned in Europe and, according to Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, is also banned in the UK.
Councils and housing associations across the country have been ordered to urgently check whether the tower blocks in their areas have been cladded using similar materials to those at the Grenfell Tower. Read More…
Wythenshawe’s Mike Kane was among MPs caught up in what police are describing as a terrorist attack at the Houses of Parliament.
A police officer was stabbed just inside Westminster Palace Gate, and at least one woman has died and others seriously injured after a car ploughed into people on Westminster Bridge.
Labour’s Mike Kane was in the House of Commons chamber which was put in lockdown as the incident was dealt with by police.
Mr Kane told the Wythenshawe Reporter: “The victims are in my thoughts and prayers”. Read More…